Jada Pinkett Smith Calls Date Rape a Personal Issue and an 'Epidemic'

Two weeks ago, Jada Pinkett Smith posted a Facebook status expressing her support of Jada, the teen girl whose rape was mocked on social media. Now she's revealed that her own niece was drugged and could have been date raped.

"This could be you, me, or any woman or girl that we know. What do we plan to do about this ugly epidemic? ‪#‎justiceforjada‬" Pinkett Smith wrote on Facebook. During a panel discussion as part of the Television Critics Association press tour Sunday, Pinkett Smith expanded on those thoughts, Us Weekly reports:

"If you saw what I put on Facebook, you also saw that this could happen to any woman that we know and the unfortunate part is that my niece was given a date-rape drug that weekend," she tells Us. "Thank god — she's 20 — so thank god that nothing happened, because she was with some responsible guys that took care of her, and with three of her friends. She said, 'oh my god I can't feel my…' she was losing consciousness. Thank god the people she was with put her in a room, closed the door, and she didn't come to for three and a half hours."

Pinkett Smith went on to explain that she had her niece talk to Willow Smith and some of her friends about the experience. She also hastened that women should be careful about the situations they get themselves into, but specified, "There is an epidemic going on out here in regards to the treatment of women. We have to figure out how we can empower people in different ways":

"What I do with Willow is I give her the opportunity to be empowered by having herself first," she continues. "Because when you allow a person to be an individual and you allow a person to have power within and have confidence on who they are, you'll never have to look into the eyes of a man and question whether it's a yes or a no. She's gonna be very clear: No. She's gonna be very clear: yes. And she's gonna be in a position to be able to determine how to protect herself. Know when you're in danger. Should you be a girl that goes into a room with four men drinking. Should you? Even if you think you know them? Is this about wanting to be the cool girl or is this about wanting to set a standard for yourself?"

Last week, Jada also wondered aloud about whether people would attend a "a TV show, a speaking tour or radio show talking about the issues we address on this page.

"It makes no sense for me to entertain these ideas if you're not coming;)" she wrote.

Image via Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP